| 3 months ago

Barakamon

By Khadija Khan
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Young Seishuu Handa, a prodigious yet uptight calligrapher, is sent away from the hustle bustle of the city to a remote island to find inspiration and reignite his fervor for his craft. We follow Handa’s journey of self-discovery and passion in this lighthearted yet moving slice-of-life anime. In just 12 short episodes we see Handa’s transformation from a stuck-up elitist calligrapher to someone the people of the island consider a friend and part of the community.

The anime starts off with an exhibition where Seishuu Handa’s work is displayed, however, after being given a severe critique of his work from an experienced curator Handa loses his composure and attacks the man in anger. This is the event which leads him to being banished to the remote island by his father, who is also his agent.

Handa’s arrival is immediately met with shenanigans and mischief in the form of the local kids, who use Handa’s new home as their secret lair. One of the kids, Naru, becomes quite attached to Handa throughout the anime, going even so far as to hang out with him everyday regardless of what he may be up to.

Besides Naru, there are many other characters who keep popping up in Handa’s new life on the island. Hiroshi, his landlord’s teenage son, frequently accompanies him in having to corral and handle the kids who seem to gravitate towards Handa. Miwa and Tamako, the young girls who, alongside Naru, love bothering and engaging Handa in their schemes and play.

With this host of colorful characters Handa slowly makes the transformation from a snobby city slicker to a more compassionate, insightful, and creative artist and person. Besides the children and Hiroshi, the other islanders are also able to thaw through the cold exterior of Handa enough to unearth a hapless youth who, while good at his craft, has no necessary life experience to give it color.

vThis slice-of-life anime will warm your heart and make you invested in Handa’s growth as a person, as well as make you laugh along with the islanders at the situations Handa and friends end up in. I highly recommend watching it when in the mood for something slow and without consequence.

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